October 9, 2010


Democrats feud over plan to fix deficits (JOHN MAGGS, 10/9/10, Politico)

[R]ight at the moment when liberals are telling the president to keep his hands off Social Security, [Alice] Rivlin’s about to announce a plan to fix the deficit that’s expected to include some of her past prescriptions for the problem.

Cut Social Security benefits. Or maybe raise the retirement age from 65 to 70. Or both.

Rivlin insists that her plan, written by a private group of former government officials for release after the midterms, won’t put any pressure on the president or the deficit commission — but instead could nudge the president’s commission toward compromise.

But Democrats are crying foul, saying Rivlin shouldn’t be freelancing but instead give her advice to the president through the deficit panel. They worry her report will box in Obama and fuel an already divisive showdown between the party’s liberals and deficit hawks.

After all, it’s possible by mid-November that Democrats will have lost the House and a working majority in the Senate. It would be a moment of great vulnerability for Obama, and a Rivlin call to raise the retirement age for Social Security, for instance, could make it harder for the president and his commission to duck the issue, sure to be unpopular with voters.

If they really can't face the prospect that retirement age should rise along with life expectancy how seriously should they be taken as a party?

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 9, 2010 6:03 PM
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